Swan neck deformity (fingers)

Last revised by Leonardo Lustosa on 21 Jun 2022

Swan neck deformity is a musculoskeletal manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis presenting in a digit of the hand, due to the combination of:

  • hyperextension of a proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint
  • flexion of a distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint


The swan neck deformity, characterized by hyperextension of the PIP and flexion of the DIP joints, is due to an imbalance of muscle forces 6.


Swan neck deformity may present in 3,4:

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2: a swan's neck
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  • Case 1: post traumatic
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  • Case 2: rheumatoid arthritis
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  • Case 3: lupus arthropathy
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